Matt Drudge, who runs the site, later tweeted the network was facing an "internal debate" over whether to air the footage on the night before the cycle's first presidential debate.
Blogs began to publish a YouTube link of the suspected video--a nearly 10 minute clip of the same 2007 speech. Many reporters quickly noted the address was fairly well known and was broadly covered five years ago.
However, at 9 p.m. ET, Fox News' Sean Hannity, the conservative news website "The Daily Caller" and Drudge released what they described as an "exclusive" video of the nearly 40 minute speech, which included the comments about Sept. 11 and Katrina, which were not seen in the nine-minute YouTube video.
While some on Twitter stoked speculation that Mitt Romney's campaign may have been part of the timing of the video's publicity, the GOP nominee's team denied being tied to the media effort.
"We did not have any involvement," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to CNN.
Brownstein, the political analyst, thought it unlikely that Romney would raise this at Wednesday's debate.
"I honestly don't think he's going to go there himself," he said. "This is the kind of thing that happens around the penumbra of a campaign, usually by outside groups or outside activists."
Democratic commentators fired back after portions of the speech aired Tuesday night, saying the remarks were old and blown out of proportion.
"I think that there is no material significance here, but the Republicans are very good at taking nothing and turning it into what appears to be something," Boyce Watkins, founder of yourblackworld.com, said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
He added: "We have to remember that we live in a country that has for 400 years been poisoned by the psychological disease of racism and it doesn't take much to spark that back up."
Countering, conservative blogger and CNN contributor Erick Erickson said Obama's comments were telling of the president's personal views on race in the United States.
"He's addressing a largely black crowd and making the point that very clearly, that they in New Orleans got treated differently from people in New York and people in Florida because they somehow weren't part of the American community," Erickson said. "That's fanning the flames."
Brownstein noted that "this is an intensely racially polarized country," and that race plays a part in both the election and governing.
"There is a racial element that is in the backdrop here," Brownstein said. "Not necessarily racism, but very different views about the role of government and very different views about the parties."
Obama's re-election campaign also weighed in late Tuesday night, calling it an attempt to change the subject from "(Romney's) comments attacking half of the American people," referring to secretly-recorded video of Romney saying 47% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes and are "victims" dependent on the government.
"The only thing shocking about this is that they apparently think it's wrong to suggest that we should help returning veterans, children leaving foster care and other members of Mitt Romney's 47 percent get training that will allow them to find the best available jobs. If the Romney campaign believes that Americans will accept these desperate attacks tomorrow night in place of specific plans for the middle class, it's they who are in for a surprise," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement to CNN.